Sarasota, Fla. – New College of Florida recently unveiled its new mascot, the “Mighty Banyan.” The mascot, is a fierce-looking, flexing banyan tree, based on a design by first-year student Anna Lazzara.
As the college progresses toward being the best liberal arts college in the country, a student- designed mascot, inspired by the many banyan trees on campus, will be the new face of the college.
The banyan tree is known for its aerial roots, which sprout from branches and eventually reach the soil, and its ability to live for centuries. They are also considered the world’s biggest trees in terms of the area they cover. In a way, the entanglements of the roots and branches all under the vast canopy echoes the interweaving of the past, present, and the future.
“The updated mascot symbolizes the future vision of New College and what we are all working so hard toward,” said Interim President Richard Corcoran. “From strength, growth and longevity, to many branches working as one, the Mighty Banyan is the perfect representation of who we are here at New College, as well who we are aiming to become.”
“When I heard the news that the college was seeking a new mascot, I began to think about what the New College spirit means to me,” said Lazzara. “After much thought, I realized that the New College spirit is the combination of a supportive community and a stunning natural landscape. Both of these things, I believe, are perfectly represented in the form of a mighty Banyan tree.”
“As with every decision made thus far, we think about the students first, and we are proud that this mascot was born from one of our student’s designs,” continued Interim President Corcoran. “We are excited about this development for New College, but we are also looking forward to the many new projects happening around campus that will undoubtedly enhance and improve the experience for current and future students of New College of Florida.”
Founded in Sarasota in 1960, New College of Florida was named the No. 5 Public National Liberal Arts College from U.S. News & World Report in 2023 and is the Honors College of Florida. New College provides students with a highly individualized education that combines academic excellence with career preparation experiences. New College offers more than 50 undergraduate majors in arts, humanities and sciences; a master’s degree program in applied data science; and certificates in technology, finance, and business skills.